Dear friends in Fallbrook,
One of the ways my family has tried to cope with my daughter’s leukemia diagnosis (the treatment is going very well, thanks be to God) has been to seek an explanation for what causes leukemia and what may have triggered the growth of those cancerous cells in her body. But time and time again the physicians have told us, “We don’t know what causes it, it just happens.” In fact, they told us, “We’re surprised it doesn’t happen more often.”
Perhaps you can sense why that answer seems so unsatisfying. When it comes to problems, we prefer external explanations. We prefer that our problems come from obvious agents like germs, bites, and breaks. If we can point to this decision or that substance as the cause of our suffering, at least we can regain some sense of control over the problem.
But a problem that comes from corruption within is far more unsettling. There is something truly terrifying about a problem you can’t control and can’t predict, one that just happens because of our very nature. When faced with such a situation, human beings are more likely to bury their heads in the sands of denial than to accept the unpredictable reality of life in a fallen world.
Mankind is, by and large, in denial about their inward, spiritual sickness called sin. Sure, we are happy to admit that “we’ve made a few mistakes” or that “there’s a lot of bad in the world,” but we’ll usually stop short of saying, “The problem lies within me, the problem corrupts me, the problem is me.”
We need an intervention. And God intervenes.
When God surveys the human condition he finds a deep sickness within us, one without excuse, one that leads to death. But he does not abandon us to our fate, he intervenes. With his own arm he works salvation and brings us to newness of life. While the problem may be within us, the solution is found outside of us, and that fact offers the kind of comfort to which nothing else can compare.
During the season of Lent at St. Stephen Lutheran we’ll be considering a wide variety of ways that God has intervened in our lives through the words and works of his Son Jesus Christ. I think you’ll find that the time of Lent is a time not just for somber recollection of our sin, but a hopeful time of healing through the teachings of Christ. I invite you to join us at one of our upcoming Sunday morning services. We worship each Sunday morning at 9:30am. Visitors are always welcome. I hope to see you soon.
Serving in Christ,